The Main House
Villa Koukouvayia’s Main House is perhaps the most luxurious of the villa’s three homes, with wide terraces and balconies that offer spectacular Aegean & Mountain views at all three of its levels. The ground floor boasts a sunken living room, stone fireplace, large dining area and kitchen, food pantry, and a bathroom convenient to living areas and pool patios. For guests needing to keep in touch with professional tasks during an extended stay, a dedicated private office featuring network docking, monitor, printer and other peripherals provides a simple plug & vacation-to-work connection.
Upstairs, three bedrooms each access either a spectacular balcony or a roof terrace with wet bar. Bedroom 3, the Falcon Nest, shares its antique maple bed with French doors, large closets and perfect views of the moon or sun cresting the steep eastern slope opposite the Tyflos River Valley. Bedroom 2, the Griffon Nest, is built into a dramatic stone turret with two levels—a studio and upper sleeping loft—connected by spiral stairs that also lead to the Main House’s roof terrace, with a wet-bar. Both the wide desk at studio level and the extra-long single bed in the loft are built into the turret’s wrapping windows to create a romantic 180-degree spanning the the island’s western edge to its northern Aegean shore. The lower studio is perfect for professional work or, with an easily installed 2nd bed, another adult—either friend or sibling—can comfortably double the suite’s capacity. The 2nd full bathroom on this level also hosts the Main House’s convenient laundry facilities, adjacent to a dedicated laundry balcony for fresh-dried linens.
The the Main House’s 2nd floor accommodations are crowned by the master bedroom or “Koukouvayia Suite.” The suite’s luxuries include built-in closets & hidden hampers; a library, reading area & stone fireplace; and a hand-carved king-sized teak bed set into windows tall enough to display the night’s galaxies and constellations. The Koukouvayia Suite is privately isolated from rest of the 2nd floor by a long entry hallway and en suite bath. The bath is large enough not only for a two-person shower, but a long soaking tub where one can bathe beneath the charming view across the valley of the moon rising, and the spot-lit mountain chapel of Saint John.
Together the Main House’s accommodations are perfect for larger families or families with mature children who need extra privacy and space.
The Guest House
Villa Koukouvayia’s Guest House, built in 2012, is the oldest and most economical of the villa’s three homes. Set back at the highest and farthest position from the farm’s entrance, her design echoes the Main House below her and includes the same continuous verandas, large, spectacular balconies, and a private roof terrace where star-gazing feels more like star-touching. The house’s open-design first floor provides space for large living areas, a fully equipped kitchen, and a convenient bath. Upstairs, two bedrooms include a master bedroom (the “Hawk’s Nest”) whose sliding doors open onto a 270° wrapping balcony large enough for entertaining and with spiral-stair access to the roof terrace. The second bedroom (the “Crow’s Nest”) also opens onto a private balcony, gazing south up the Tyflos Valley to Crete’s higher elevations and famous White Mountains. The Crow’s Nest sleeps two adults comfortably, each with a single bed, built bunk-stye into a full-width window that integrates each bed into a soaring view of the sea below. And if needed, families with three small children under 12 can outfit the room for a third child. The 2nd floor’s final feature is a large full bath with a two-person shower, laundry, and a clothes balcony to make the necessity of vacation washing days—quite literally—a fresh breeze.
Together, the spectacular views and efficient design make the Guest House a perfect choice for a young family, a traveling couple, or a group of four friends wanting to relax, explore and recharge together.
The Garden Suite
Completed in 2022, Villa Koukouvayia’s Garden Suite is the estate’s most unique and flexible home and—being her newest addition—arguably her most luxuriously appointed. A ground-level residence resting beneath the Main House, the Garden Suite’s private entrance, French doors, wide windows, and her integration into the site’s slope let guests gaze directly into her private gardens and step directly into the extensive olive groves surrounding the estate.
Entering through French doors from her yard below the pool waterfalls, a hand-hewn stone foyer embraces the chambers, leading in one direction to a spacious living area with winter-stove, stone hearth, large library and entertainment center. In the other direction a professionally outfitted kitchen breakfast and dining area handily serve the largest & hungriest of families & friends. Each of the Garden Suite’s three bedrooms and her living room are outfitted with bespoke closets and bookshelves, antique furniture or other charming features, and each has a series of high-quality, built-in cabinet beds that let you custom configure your space, from luxury queen-bed apartments to albergue style rooms sleeping 3 or 4. Her two largest bedrooms, the “Pheasant Nest” and “Partridge Nest,” look out onto the southeast groves sloping into the Tyflos Valley, and her third bedroom, the Swallow’s Nest, makes up for a lack of view with dramatically lit custom shelving,, charming stone features, and a private office alcove.
And for larger families and groups, the living room’s beautiful library cabinet pulls down to reveal a fully mattresed bed that converts the area into a semi-private room and increases Garden Suite capacity to 13. To service such larger groups, the Garden Suite has modern, professional-grade appliances, storage pantries, and two full bathrooms. The second bath & laundry are adjacent to the living area, and a luxurious master bath is positioned near the three bedrooms, large enough for a long, deep soaking tub on one side, and on the other a romantic two-person shower surrounded by hand-hewn stone.
And although the Garden Suite can easily be configured and expanded to comfortably sleep 13 adults, her base price will allow a more typically sized party of 6 to secure her inexpensively, while letting those who need the Garden Suite’s extraordinary capacity, to reserve those extra spaces easily, with a supplement of €10 per/person/night for each guest beyond 6, and up to the Garden Suite’s full capacity of 13.
Villa Koukouvayia proudly positions herself not as a hotel to be rented, but a home to be enjoyed. Historically, and as echoed in countless reviews, her guests have easily taken up this characteristic during their stays, enjoying the privacy of their separate home’s gardens, terraces and spaces, but enjoying, too, the sharing of the few resources the estate holds in common. While privacy is always an option, guests often enjoy the luck of meeting other good people, or their child finding a new friend the same age to share the ping-pong table or pool.
The friendly culture allows easy sharing of the estate’s common resources. The extensive recreational gear of bicycles, kayaks, lawn games, interior board games, hiking, snorkeling & beach gear, the exercise room with a professional table-tennis facility, and the estate’s deep plunging pool and patio have always met everyone’s needs, even when the villa has the privilege to host three families as guests.
The villa’s isolation among the silent groves affects those staying here, too, creating a common culture of quiet, and a consistent respect among guests for the opportunity to relax.
The extensive gear allows guests to avoid most vacation-specific expenses, yet still enjoy the toys and equipment that often add fun to time away from home. The pool especially serves a variety of guests, offering the chance to cool off from the Cretan sun, to plunge off the salt from a coastal swim, to safely dive into its depths, or play beneath the waterfalls. And when the patio is quiet, the splash of the waterfall creates the perfect background music to inspire your nap.